Travel Guide: Clovelly | Quality Unearthed

travel guide: clovelly


Renowned for its rolling countryside, picturesque coast and charming towns and villages, Devon ticks all the boxes when it comes to desirable holiday destinations. But while this beautiful region is home to a number of alluring attractions, the fishing port of Clovelly is one that captivates all who visit and for good reason too. Be transported through time as you wander the ancient cobbled streets, browse antique artefacts in the village’s museums and meet Clovelly’s famous residents who have contributed to its rich fishing heritage for hundreds of years.

Whether you’re enjoying a weekend in Devon or are holidaying here for a full week, our travel guide to Clovelly is sure to convince you why a visit to this enchanting coastal village is a must during your stay:

Best Time to Visit?

Clovelly is an enchanting village and offers something for everyone the whole year round, whether you visit during the height of summer or the midst of winter. However, depending on what type of holiday experience you’re after, you may enjoy a visit here more during specific seasons.

For instance, those who wish to tour the beautiful village in guaranteed sunshine should visit during spring and summer, when the surrounding coast and countryside are in full bloom and thriving with a wide array of flora, fauna and wildlife. Alternatively, although a trip to Clovelly in the colder months may be a little chiller, the village is still just as charming, and holidaymakers can avoid the busy crowds that tend to flock here during summer and relish the peace and quiet of exploring the village in autumn or winter. However, visitors should note that during the winter, many of the independent shops and eateries open for a shorter period or close altogether depending on the owners’ discretion.

Otherwise, aside from Christmas Day, Clovelly is open all year round and, in the summer, for the extended hours of 9 am to 6.30pm.

Getting There

A man driving a car with the sun shining through the windscreen at dusk.

While visitors can use several modes of transport to travel to North Devon including bus, car and train, the village of Clovelly is a little trickier to get to, especially for those relying solely on public transport. Although there are no direct bus or train routes that pass the village, buses do drop off at several stops close by including the visitor’s centre carpark, which is only a six-minute walk down to the village. Those who have their own car can travel directly to Clovelly via the A39, and parking is available in the visitor’s centre carpark.

Epic Sights to See

Devon is renowned for its beautiful coastal towns and villages, and Clovelly is no exception. As well as the ancient fishing village itself, there are also plenty of other fantastic sights to see and things to do during your trip here, whether you’re visiting with your partner, family or friends. Below, we’ve listed just a few of our favourite experiences on offer at Clovelly that the whole family are sure to enjoy:

Clovelly Donkeys

Two brown donkeys standing behind the fence in their stables at Clovelly.

Donkeys have been an important part of Clovelly’s history for years; without them, it would never have become one of the South West’s most successful fishing ports! While the locals are used to hearing the familiar sound of these gentle animals ‘clip-clopping’ up the village’s cobbled streets, visitors are sure to find the experience of meeting the donkeys unforgettable, especially those with little ones. Treat your children to a donkey ride or snap a family photo with these four-legged friends that you can treasure forever!

Clovelly Court Gardens

A wooden wheelbarrow in front of some plants in Clovelly Court Gardens.

While the village itself is an enchanting place to explore, Clovelly Court Gardens are also a must, especially for those visiting during the spring or summer when the gardens’ extensive array of plant life will be in full bloom. Enclosed by ancient stone walls, the gardens are neat and well cared for; as a result, they yield a variety of fruit and vegetables, many of which are supplied to Clovelly’s two pubs – The Red Lion and The New Inn – to make a selection of delicious meals. Why not pop in during your visit and try one for yourself?

Fisherman’s Cottage Museum

Old letters that were written by the residents of the Fisherman’s Cottage Museum.

Since 1840, fishing has been and is still the main occupation for many of Clovelly’s residents. As such, those interested in the history of this sloping seaside village should visit the Fisherman’s Cottage Museum, where you can gain a fascinating insight into the daily lives of the fishing families who lived here in the 1930s. As well as housing a range of domestic artefacts including antique furniture, china ornaments and religious engravings, the cottage is also filled with the family’s personal memorabilia. Read the private letters or gaze upon the array of old photographs to discover more about what life was like in this pretty little fishing village all those years ago!

More Sights to See

  • Clovelly Quay
  • The Lifeboat Station
  • Kingsley Museum
  • Mouthmill Cove

Where to Stay?

With so much on offer to see and do, there’s no doubt that a trip to Clovelly will be one that you won’t forget for many years to come. At Quality Unearthed, we want to make your visit here even more memorable, so why not opt to stay in one of our unique Devon glamping abodes? With a stunning selection of cabins, treehouses, shepherd’s huts and yurts just minutes from this charming village, your dreams of experiencing an unforgettable stay in Devon can be made a reality! Browse our gorgeous properties on our website today or visit our blog to find out how else you could spend your time in the South West with our Devon travel guide.

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